Popular Misconceptions About Foreign English Speakers
Whether it’s portraying Russians in Hollywood blockbusters or judging foreigners by one short conversation and assuming that their overall English fluency must be flawed because they’ve made a couple of awkward mistakes – there are a lot of misconceptions out there about us, foreign English speakers :!: In this article I’m going to look at the most popular ones and while I’m fully aware of the fact that I won’t be able to dispel those stereotypes, it doesn’t mean I can’t talk about them, does it? Foreigners portrayed in films speak like native English speakers except for their accent I’ve met thousands of foreign English speakers throughout my life, and I can tell you this much – a foreign English speaker who gets English grammar 100% correct while speaking is a rare creature to find! And I’m not speaking of a person with foreign origin who’s moved to an English speaking country during childhood or teenage years and has achieved a native-like fluency by the time he’s an adult. I’m speaking about typical foreigners who speak English with a smaller or a bigger foreign accent just like the ones typically portrayed in films and TV shows. As you can imagine, the reason behind it is because on 99% of occasions actors portraying foreigners in movies are native English speaking actors with accent talents :!: (more…)
My Opinion on Who the English Language Belongs to…
Random Stuff – Perfectionism, English Word Chunks and Blind Faith
English Harmony System Download Version Goes Live NOW!
As you might remember, the original English Harmony System was nothing more than a simple eBook. Then I created a multimedia video course on three DVDs which took my customers' experience to a whole new level. Now I’ve taken it a step further once more. An INSTANT DOWNLOAD version of the English Harmony System 2.0 is finally ready, and my sleepless nights spent on working on technical aspects of the download version are over :!: ;-) First of all, I had to figure out how to make the nearly 5 GB large files easy to download – after all, the System consists of Flash videos and they aren’t the smallest files around. Secondly, I had to find a reliable and user-friendly piece of .exe compiler software so that the files can be easily distributed and all users can be managed. Thirdly, I had to set up the download software, integrate PayPal into it, and conduct countless tests to make sure everything works like clockwork! I’ve been working on this download version since Christmas, and now I can take a deep breath because finally completed. It works, and it’s ready to be used by you, my dear impatient foreign English speaking friends who don’t want to wait till the physical package containing the 3 DVDs arrives at you doorstep. Here’s a few facts about the downloadable version of the System: it consists of 3 .exe files – one for each of the 3 Modules – Speech Master, Confidence Mentor and Chat Assistant; it takes about 20 – 30 minutes to download all three files; the files are protected by unique registration codes e-mailed to you shortly after the purchase; constant Broadband Internet connection is required to run the System (more…)
101 Wrong Reasons (and 1 True Reason) Why I Love the English Language
Wrong reason # 1: English grammar is so simple – there aren’t any noun genders , very little declination of nouns and conjugation of verbs, and you only have to add ‘s’ or ‘es’ at the end of a third person singular noun, that’s all there is to it! Everybody’s gotta love this language for its simplicity, isn’t that right? Well… how about Chinese grammar? Technically it’s even simpler than that of English – Chinese words can have one grammatical form only and all I’d have to do is just stick them together! If I’m so in love with the English language because of its simplicity, why didn’t I start learning Chinese instead? Could it be that the simple grammar isn’t actually one of the true reasons I love the language?... (more…)
Print This Poster to Motivate Yourself to Improve Your English Throughout 2012!
Moving to an English Speaking Country is Like Recovering Eyesight
Recently I watched a TV program about blind people recovering eyesight. What struck me most in the program was the fact that even if you restore a damaged optic nerve to its full capacity, the blind person isn’t necessarily going to function properly in terms of seeing the world around. IMPORTANT! -> Why I’m highlighting parts of text in RED? It appears that in order to see not only we need our eyes; our brain plays a crucial role in the process, too. And what was most shocking – if a person has been blind since birth or very early childhood, he or she may never learn how to “see” the word properly even if technically it would be possible. Human brain is simply unable to process graphical images from the outside world (read - any audiovisual information) and convert them into an adequate reflection into one’s mind IF it hasn’t been trained to do so :!: The man from the TV program had undergone surgery to recover eyesight, but getting around the town was still a tricky task. He learnt to recognize certain shapes and forms, but can you imagine what it feels like when you look down at a shadow on the sidewalk but you haven’t got a clue whether it’s a shadow cast by some object or a foot deep drop where the sidewalk ends? Your brain has been trained to recognize things from an early age and has seen millions of different shades throughout your lifetime. The man with recovered eyesight has to learn everything from scratch which makes it very, very difficult. What’s it got to do with spoken English, you’ll ask? Simple enough – if you’ve spent the biggest part of your live studying English the traditional way and then you move to an English speaking country, you’re in pretty much the same position as the man with the recovered eyesight walking around his residential estate. (more…)
Lost in Translation OR Why I Couldn’t Translate Gulliver’s Travels
English Harmony System’s Review
I want you to meet someone, my fellow foreign English speakers! Her name is Diana and she runs a great English learning website Helping You Learn English. Diana is an English teaching professional, and I guess that if she’s saying that my English Harmony System might just be the one thing you need to improve your English fluency, there is something to it, right? Anyway, let’s cut the rant, just watch the video above to see what Diana is saying in her review of the English Harmony System 2.0!
Taking a Break from Speaking English May Have a Positive Effect on Your Fluency!
The Best English Class for Improving Your English Fluency
The English Language is Multidimensional Indeed!
Today I’d like to talk about diversity of the English language. Here at English Harmony I’m focusing on spoken English which tends to be more informal as opposed to formal English as it’s taught in schools. The other day I was reading a blog post by Aaron from Phrasemix.com about differences between formal and casual English and he’s put up a very interesting chart on his blog post about how people from different backgrounds speak. According to Aaron’s chart, ordinary people you’d meet on the street in your local estate would speak mostly conversational English, but advanced English students, strangely enough, would be quite on the opposite side of the chart having mastered conversational skills of a native English speaking toddler yet their formal English knowledge would be nearly as high as that of a business executive :!: Well, I have to say that I agree with Aaron 100%, and this is the first time I’m seeing formal and conversational English skills of people from different backgrounds compared in such an interesting way! (more…)
St Patrick’s Day Greetings
These things I warmly wish to you - someone to love, some work to do, a bit o' sun, a bit o' cheer, and a guardian angel always near! Happy Paddy’s day everyone! This is Robby from Ireland and today I’m joining hundreds of thousands of other revelers all over the world celebrating St. Patrick’s Day! If you don’t know what Paddy’s Day is all about – here’s a brief intro for dummies. So, the 17th March is the anniversary of passing of St. Patrick who is the most renown religious figure of all times in Ireland and even thought he might not be the one who introduced Christianity in Ireland fifteen hundred years ago, he still played a crucial role in the process. And, if you didn’t know, Irish people are quite religious folks so it’s no surprise that over the centuries their patron saint St. Patrick became one of the main symbols normally associated with Ireland along with the leprechaun and shamrock leaf. I’m not really sure how the festival traditions kept developing over the last fifteen hundred years, but I can tell you for sure how Paddy’s day is celebrated here in Newbridge which is my hometown for the last 8 years. (more…)
Does Integration of Foreigners into English Speaking Society Work?
Unleash Your English Fluency with the English Harmony System 2.0!
Are you ready to get on the fast track to spoken English fluency? Check out my English Harmony System HERE!
Do You Really NEED to Improve Your Spoken English?
My Controversial Views On Correct English & British and American English
Today’s video episode is dedicated to all those perfectionists out there who are always concerned about the wellbeing of the English language. All those who start whining about the demise of English whenever they hear the slightest deviation from standard English pronunciation or grammar. All those who’ll waste hours of their time on online English learning forums debating merits of using this or that particular adverb or preposition. All those who’ll perfectly spot the slightest difference between American and British English and argue in favor of one or the other referring to lists of differences between the two. All those who say things like – “Just listen to him; he can’t speak proper English despite being American/British/Irish!” My one and only question to you, my dear perfectionists, is the following: “What is this so-called proper English you all seem to be worshipping? How do you define correct speech and why are you so obsessed with making sure everyone speaks super correctly?” I know it’s a rhetorical question and no-one can give me an answer right now, so I’ll try to answer this question myself because I have a very strong opinion in this regard! ;-) (more…)
2010 in Retrospect – the Best Blog Posts and Videos!
Isn’t English “Improving” and “Learning” the Same?!
How I Stopped Being a Non-native English Speaker…
Until about a year ago I considered myself a non-native English speaker. I arrived in Ireland back in 2002 from a small country in Baltic region. It’s roughly the size of Ireland but it has only half of Ireland’s population. Its capital is called Riga and our crimson-white-crimson flag represents a blood-stained stretcher used to carry mortally wounded soldiers from a battle-field. The country I’m talking about is called Latvia – andÂ I'mÂ one in a 1.5 million people on this planet whose native language is Latvian. Anyway, I chose the settle in an English speakingÂ country so I’m here for more than 8 years now and by the looks of it I’ll stay here for the foreseeable future. Living in an English speaking society has presented many challenges along the way – most of them due to my lack of English fluency. But I always faced up to the difficulties and thanks to my love for the English language I can enjoy communicating with locals easily and naturally. So after about 8 years spent in Ireland I stopped being a non-native English speaker! Brace yourself! I’m about to reveal one of the biggest secrets of integration into an English speaking society and how to stop being a non-native English speaker! :shock: So here we go… (more…)